Winter is here, and while some people prefer to hibernate indoors away from the wind and the cold there's a wide range of fun activities that are best enjoyed outdoors in Toronto this time of year. Here's what we think are 6 of the best.
There are arguably few things on the planet that are more quintessentially Canadian than hockey. You're probably not going to be surprised to learn that the best time to visit Canada if you want to watch our ice based national sport is winter. Toronto's local side is the Toronto Maple Leafs who play at the Scotiabank Arena (located right next to Union station). Games are as exciting and as electric as you'd expect, and booking tickets in advance is strongly recommended.
DJ Skate Nights
If you feel like getting your dancing shoes on (or should that be dancing skates?) then heading down to the hugely popular DJ Skate Nights that take place at the Harbourfront Centre should be high up on your shortlist. You'll be able to skate the night away while listening to live performances from some truly talented DJs until you're exhausted enough to find a spot next to the wood fire heaters dotted around the perimeter to give your feet a little rest.
Winter Light Festival
The winter light festival is one of the most popular seasonal activities the city has to offer. We can think of nothing better than enjoying a world of stunning and mesmerizing illuminated art installations during these cold, dark, and gloomy months. It's an experience that you're never going to forget if you've never visited this land of illuminated wonders before. The Winter Light Festival is located in the Distillery District and it runs all the way through to March 3rd.
If you've worked up an appetite after all the activities above (or if you just feel like escaping the cold) then Winterlicious is another event that is more than worthy of your consideration. A large number of Toronto's finest and most popular restaurants take part in this wintery celebration of our local culinary scene, and if you're a foodie – it's not to be missed. You'll be treated to a special range of new dishes and tasting menus throughout the festival (alongside a selection of magnificent drinks to wash it all down with). Reservations are strongly recommended at participating restaurants.
Arrowhead Provincial Park
If you feel like getting out of town, then Arrowhead Provincial Park should definitely be on your radar. During the winter months, they provide an ice skating trail that is almost too magical to be true. You'll gently skate down a 1km long trail that twists and winds its way through the stunning woods that the park has been blessed with. There are a number of cabins along the way (all of which are warm and toasty) which will allow you to take a little break and warm up as and when you please. The night skating that's on offer is also worth enquiring about, the entire trail is illuminated with torches – and as you can imagine, this creates quite a surreal and unique atmosphere.
What's more wintery than a festival that celebrates everything and anything icy? As you'd expect from the name, Icefest is an annual event that revolves around the world's greatest ice sculptors coming into town and showing us their stuff. Massive and mind-bogglingly intricate masterpieces will be created right in front of your eyes throughout the weekend (with over 70,000lbs of ice being utilized during the event). If you're lucky enough to be in town on February 9th and 10th then you should make every effort to head over to Bloor-Yorkville village and check it out.